Sao Paulo: Jonas Eriksson is among the 25 referees who are officiating in the ongoing FIFA World Cup but what sets the Swede apart from his clan is that he happens to be a millionaire who doesn't really need to do this job for a living.
Eriksson, whose experience in refereeing is a vast 20 years, says his drive to be a referee despite having enough money to sustain himself, comes from his love for the game.
He has wealth running up to millions after selling his 15 per cent share in a Swedish media company.
A day after officiating in the Brazil-Cameroon World Cup match in Brasilia, Eriksson said professional referees are able to match up with today's fast-paced game .
"The overall standard of refereeing has improved. Professional referees have to study, train their minds hard everyday nowadays. Play has become faster and I think the referees are able to match up to the pace of the game.
"You see the players they tend to elbow often these days and the referee has to be on his toes," Eriksson told PTI.
Since Yuichi Nishimura's controversial penalty to Brazil in the 2014 World Cup opener against Croatia, referees have been the centre of attention in the ongoing tournament. The 40-year-old Eriksson, however, defended his colleague.
"The Japanese referee has been one of the best in Asia in recent years. He has been very good in AFC events," said Eriksson.